Pressure on Canelo to fight GGG
May 10, 2016 3:04 AM
by Alan Berg
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin has a very quotable personality. His “big drama show” to describe his fights caught on with the sports world and his new phrase in the buildup to last Saturday’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Amir Khan fight was “give me my belt.”
After watching Canelo knockout Khan with one punch GGG will have to come take it.
Near the end of Round 6, Khan was staring up at the T-Mobile Arena lights – it was the arena’s first big boxing card – as Canelo (47-1-1) thrilled his fans with an overhand right that connected sharply and dropped the British boxer.
Referee Kenny Bayless never bothered counting him after watching Khan’s head bounce off the canvas. It was clear the fight was over.
Now attention turns to the fight hardcore and casual fans have wanted for the past year: Canelo vs. GGG for the Middleweight Championship. Not to be confused with the 155 “Canelo Weight” Championship that was just defended against Khan.
Canelo told the press after the victory, he has no problem fighting GGG at the actual middleweight 160-pound limit. “I’ll fight him at 160.” Previously Canelo’s team had talked of only fighting the Kazakhstan puncher at 155.
Offshore books have listed GGG as anywhere from a -400 to -600 favorite, with the champion Canelo +275 to +350. I tend to believe GGG comes into the ring as a -450 favorite with the public on Canelo at a great price.
Khan was a much smaller fighter; GGG is a natural middleweight and while Canelo is probably a natural Junior Middleweight (154 pounds), it’s not a steep climb going up one weight class. With that said, GGG is no ordinary middleweight, he has 22 consecutive knockouts and a 35-0 record with 32 KOs. He’s special but so is Canelo.
GGG is 34, Canelo is 25. GGG’s best victory to date was over David Lemieux while Canelo’s is over future Hall of Famer Miguel Cotto. It’s not GGG’s fault his opposition hasn’t been on Canelo’s level, fact is no one wants to fight Golovkin.
Canelo was Mexico’s biggest star at 22 so it was easy getting fights on his way up. Megafights with Floyd Mayweather, Cotto and Khan were made because of his drawing power. Now it is time for these two top five pound-for-pound fighters to enhance their legacy.
For Canelo, he can prove he is the best boxer on the planet, put together a game plan that confuses GGG and keeps him off balance, to win a shocking decision. It can also be GGG taking apart the Mexican superstar with his power punches and fast hands, strangling the claim of the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet.
Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said after Canelo-Khan ended that he would call GGG’s team the following morning to start working on making the fight. The target date is sometime in September and venues rumored are AT&T Stadium (Home of the Dallas Cowboys) or T-Mobile Arena in Vegas.
Both fighters need this fight because it’s the money fight, the legacy fight, but for fans it’s the best fight for boxing. Both fighters will come out bigger stars, so let’s go gentlemen, I will actually pay for your fight, unlike Mayweather-Pacquiao I. No way I will pay for a rumored Mayweather-Pacquiao II. I want boxing’s future to be center stage not its past.
Alan Berg has 10-plus years of experience at Las Vegas sports books and prior to moving to Las Vegas covered sports for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Twitter: @vegasberserker Email: ABerg@GamingToday.com.